Sen. Brown faults work Warren did for Dow Chemical
BOSTON (AP) — Republican U.S. Sen. Scott Brown is criticizing legal work Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren did for Dow Chemical in the 1990s.
Warren, a Harvard Law School professor, consulted with Dow when its subsidiary Dow Corning filed for bankruptcy after being sued for manufacturing breast implants that women said made them sick.
One result of the bankruptcy was the creation of a $2.35 billion settlement fund for thousands of women who received the implants.
In a conference call with reporters Wednesday, Angela Davis, chairwoman of the Women for Brown committee, said Warren ‘‘was advising Dow about how to limit its liability.’’
Pressed for evidence, Brown campaign manager Jim Barnett pointed to a 2002 document Warren filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in which she says, ‘‘I served in an advisory capacity to Dow Chemical, the parent company of Dow Corning, in the early days of the Dow Corning bankruptcy.’’
Asked how the campaign knows Warren was working to help the company limit its liability, Barnett said: ‘‘What else would she have been there to do?’’
Warren spokeswoman Julie Edwards called the claims ‘‘flat out wrong.’’
‘‘Elizabeth has been a teacher, consumer advocate, researcher and leading voice for fairness in the bankruptcy system for workers and their families. This case is no different,’’ Edwards said. ‘‘Elizabeth was consulted when Dow Corning went bankrupt in 1995. The bankruptcy plan set up a fund to pay more than $2 billion to settle claims filed by women who were injured by the company’s breast implants.’’
Warren’s campaign also said she is an expert in the creation of trusts to make sure current and future victims are compensated.
Dow Corning, a joint venture between Dow Chemical Co. and Corning Inc., was a leading manufacturer of silicone breast implants until the Food and Drug Administration banned them in 1992. It was forced into bankruptcy after thousands of women sued, saying its implants damaged their health. In the settlement, it agreed to pay women $2,000 to $330,000 each.
The Brown campaign also criticized Warren for not putting her work for Dow Chemical on a list of clients she represented during her career as a law professor at Harvard.
The Warren campaign said the list, released Monday, was of clients she represented in court. In the case of Dow, she was a consultant.
Brown has yet to release a full list of his clients.
Brown, who has described himself as ‘‘a small real estate closing attorney from Wrentham,’’ has said he worked as a title agent for Fidelity National and First American and worked with smaller mortgage companies and banks including Middlesex Savings Bank, Wrentham Cooperative Bank and Hyde Park Cooperative Bank. He also said he’s never done any foreclosures or any subprime mortgages.
On Wednesday, Warren received backing from former President Bill Clinton in a letter to her supporters.
Clinton warned that electing Brown could help turn the Senate, now controlled by Democrats, over to a party he said is ‘‘controlled by right-wing Republicans and Tea Party radicals.’’
‘‘We need a strong Democratic majority in the United States Senate to keep moving our country forward — and that’s why we need to do everything we can to elect Elizabeth Warren,’’ Clinton wrote.
Brown spokesman Colin Reed said it’s ironic Warren would turn to Clinton, given her legal work in the 1990s for LTV Steel as it fought a federal mandate to pay additional money into a health care fund for retired coal miners. Reed pointed to a speech Clinton gave in 1995 when he spoke of the ‘‘country’s solemn covenant with more than 100,000 retired miners.’’
Warren’s campaign has said the case involved bankruptcy principles and there was never any question miners would receive full benefits.
Also Wednesday, Brown, who won a 2010 special election to succeed the late Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy, tried to shore up his support among sports fans. His campaign released a video featuring Boston Celtics greats Bob Cousy, Dave Cowens and JoJo White, former New England Patriots quarterback Drew Bledsoe and former NFL players Steve DeOssie and Fred Smerlas.
One local sports legend not in the video is former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, who endorsed Brown two years ago and campaigned with him during the special election. Schilling has faced criticism after the collapse of his Rhode Island-based video game company, 38 Studios, which was lured from Massachusetts with a $75 million state loan guarantee.